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Reference Sheets

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The purpose of a reference sheet is to have a list of people who can verify and elaborate on your professional experience for a potential employer. Past employers, professors, and advisors are the best professional references to have. It is important to have a reference sheet because potential employers will often ask for a list of references they can contact. If you included a statement such as "References Available Upon Request" on your résumé, you should be able to produce a reference sheet as soon as one is requested. In any case, having a reference sheet will save you time later on during the interview process.

Things to remember

Make sure to include people who know what type of person you are and who are familiar with your work. It is important to select individuals who know your distinctiveness so that they can provide a positive and accurate description of you to the employer or company in which you are seeking employment. You should ALWAYS contact your references before including them on a reference sheet. It is also a good idea to give them a copy of your résumé and talk to them about the job you are seeking so they will know how to best represent you.

What to include

  • Your name
  • Your present and permanent address(es)
  • Your reference person or persons' information, which includes that person's:
    • Name
    • Department/Company
    • Title/Position
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Brief statement as to how you know this person.

Sample reference sheet


123 Hawkins Graduate House
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(317) 555-1123

12334 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 555-1829


1. Professor John English
Sociology Department
Purdue University
Stone Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(317) 555-6000

Professor English is my academic advisor and is presently supervising my research in an independent study sociology course.

2. Mrs. Diana Handie
Food Services Supervisor
Hawkins Graduate House
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(317) 555-2323

Mrs. Handie was my supervisor when I worked in the Hawkins Cafeteria.

3. Mrs. Jennifer Active
Activity Therapy Staff Wabash Valley Mental Health Center
2900 North River Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(317) 564-9600

Mrs. Active is my current employer.